It is almost six months to the elections and as expected, political parties with realistic and completely unrealistic chances of taking over government and leading Parliament are busy on the ground. Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is making progress in sorting out its primaries mess while the biggest preoccupation of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) seems…

Speaker seeks legal advice on MPs

  Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya has sought legal advice on what action to take following a request from the Office of the Declarations of Assets to declare vacant seats of six members of Parliament (MPs) and a Cabinet minister. Public Declarations of Assets and Liabilities director Chris Tukula last week wrote the Speaker and…

More work to reach SDG targets—UN

  United Nations resident coordinator Maria Jose Torres Macho says there is a need to accelerate progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets which are lagging behind such as addressing youth unemployment. Speaking at a reception on Wednesday night to commemorate United Nations Day which falls on 24 October, the UN envoy said much as…

Govt turns to NGO funding

  The Ministry of Health plans to put in place strategies to tap into non-governmental organisations (NGOs) funding to boost the health sector budget which is heavily dependent on donors. This follows a presentation which the Non-Governmental Organisations Board of Malawi (NGO Board) made at the Ministry of Health Joint Annual Sector Review held last…

Health budget at donors’ mercy

In every K100 spent in Malawi’s annual health budget, donors are responsible for K62 while government puts in about K25, it has emerged. Effectively, the donors’ 62 percent contribution of the total healthcare expenditure compared to the Malawi Government’s estimated 25 percent, as revealed by Minister of Health and Population Atupele Muluzi at the joint…

Every year on July 20, memories resurface of the negative consequences of a leader displaying arrogance and showing disdain for his people that appeal to him to lend them an ear. As thousands of Malawians went to the street in protest of the deteriorating governance and human rights atmosphere in the country that cold July…

Callista, 2 other UTM members fired

Former president Bingu wa Mutharika’s widow Callista and two others have been fired from their public service jobs for allegedly engaging in active politics through their association with the newly formed United Transformation Movement (UTM). Besides Callista, who worked as presidential adviser on safe motherhood, the others are George Saonda who served as director of…

IMF cautions on borrowing

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cautioned Malawi against unsustainable borrowing to finance infrastructure projects under the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) III. In its statement issued on Friday at the end of the first review of the three-year arrangement for Malawi under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF), IMF lauded MGDS III as a…

The case of the harassment and victimisation of United Transformation Movement (UTM) is nothing new in the country’s political history. In 2003, Brown Mpinganjira’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) felt the power and might of the government, as did People’s Party (PP) when its registration process met with resistance. What NDA and PP had in common…

Lenders against interest capping

Lending institutions in the country have expressed reservations with the proposed Interest Rate Capping Bill which aims to cap commercial interest rates, saying the move might crimp lending by banks. Parliament is carrying out consultations on the proposed bill after it adopted a motion last year that a Private Members Bill be drafted which would…

Mera meets Escom halfway on tariff hike

Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) has rejected a 60 percent power tariff increase application Escom submitted and instead reduced it to 31.8 percent spread over four years with 20 percent effective October 1 2018. Mera’s decision follows nationwide public consultations on the application by Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) for the 60 percent increase…

The Constitution of the 242-year-old United States of America has a very enviable provision which prohibits lawmakers from making laws that would infringe on freedoms of religion, speech and the press. In particular, the First Amendment which its people closely guard and even the judiciary cannot tamper with states: “Congress shall make no law respecting…

Bushiri condemns ‘satanic’ mentality

South Africa-based Malawian Prophet Shepherd Bushiri has condemned his compatriots’ obsession with Western culture and vilifying home-grown ideas, describing the mentality as ‘fake and satanic’. During a media conference in Lilongwe yesterday ahead of the Malawi leg of the Global Prophetic Crusade scheduled for Bingu National Stadium this Sunday, the prophet encouraged Malawians to appreciate…

Goodall explains K5bn for pigeon peas

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe says Admarc will pay back the K5 billion from Unforeseen Expenditure Vote for the purchase of produce, including pigeon peas, from farmers. Briefing journalists in Lilongwe a day after officials from Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) and Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism met Parliament’s…

US First Lady to visit Malawi

The First Lady of the United States of America, Melania Trump, is due to visit Malawi and three other African countries next month. Trump announced the four-country African visit at a reception for the spouses of foreign leaders at the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (Unga) in New York yesterday, according to the website www.nbcnews.com.…

UTM turns to courts

  Newly formed United Transformation Movement (UTM) has turned to the courts to challenge the Registrar of Political Parties’ rejection of its application to register as a party. UTM spokesperson Joseph Chidanti Malunga said in a statement last evening that the movement disagrees with the registrar’s decision to throw out its application on the basis…

Budget faces  K60bn chop

  Treasury says the 2018/19 National Budget could be trimmed by up to K60 billion if outcomes from meetings with the visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission do not inspire the World Bank to release budgetary support. In an interview in Lilongwe yesterday ahead of the IMF mission visit that started yesterday and will close…

Treasury moves  To reduce debt

  With the country’s fiscal standing under pressure from rising debt levels, Treasury has moved to extend the maturity of domestic debt to over three years and giving parastatals tight control of guaranteed debt to reduce the burden. In the past four years, the Malawi Government has had to borrow from the domestic market to…